The Lisbon Route tells of the extraordinary World War II transformation of Portugal's tranquil port city into the great escape hatch of Nazi Europe. Royalty, celebrities, diplomats, fleeing troops, and ordinary citizens desperately slogged their way across France and Spain to reach the neutral nation. Here the exiles found peace and plenty, though they often faced excruciating delays and uncertainties before they could book passage on ships or planes to their final destinations. As well as offering freedom from war, Lisbon provided spies, smugglers, relief workers, military figures, and adventurers with an avenue into the conflict and its opportunities. Ronald Weber traces the engaging stories of many of these colorful transients as they took pleasure in the city's charm and benign climate, its ample food and drink, its gambling casino and Atlantic beaches. Yet an ever-present shadow behind the gaiety was the fragile nature of Portuguese neutrality, which at any moment the Axis or Allies might choose to end.
Ronald Weber is professor emeritus of American studies at the University of Notre Dame. His past books include News of Paris, America in Change, The Literature of Fact, and Hired Pens. He lives in Valparaiso, Indiana.
Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Hub of the Western Universe Chapter 3 Tramping Forward Chapter 4 Whatever We Can Chapter 5 The Last Lap Chapter 6 Gaiety, Plenty, and Brilliant Lights Chapter 7 Living There Chapter 8 Celebrite de Passage Chapter 9 Holding Out Hopes Chapter 10 Gloriously Neutral Chapter 11 War without Guns Chapter 12 The Seething Cauldron Chapter 13 One World to Another Chapter 14 Wolfram by Day Chapter 15 Where to Spend One's Holiday Chapter 16 Sources